Prakruti Sudarshan (Indian)
sudarshan @ mpia.de
Dust dynamics of radiative protoplanetary disks
Dust is scarce in a protoplanetary disk, but not only does it form all of rocky material, it also controls the total opacity of the disk, and hence determines the temperature structure and evolution.
Modeling dust dynamics realistically is key to understanding observed substructures and the initial stages of planet formation in protoplanetary disks. My Ph.D. project focuses on addressing these important aspects using realistic hydrodynamical models with gas and dust, with dust directly coupled to the opacity.
With the first project, we focus our attention onto scale-height perturbations in the vertical disk structure that are caused by stellar irradiation absorption at the dusty disk surface. The dust-gas coupling and dynamics affect the irradiation surface and hence the ability of the so-called self-shadowing instability to grow and sustain. This has implications for the gas-dust structure and evolution, including dust trapping and following planetesimal formation.
Supervisor: Mario Flock (MPIA)